SACRAMENTO -- The
pace of urbanization from 1998-2000
increased significantly in Placer County
compared to 1996-98, according to a map
released today by the California
Department of Conservation. The map is
designed to help local governments
evaluate land-use planning decisions.
The Farmland Mapping
and Monitoring Program (FMMP), part of
DOC's Division of Land Resource
Protection, maps 44.5 million acres of
California's public and private land to
produce a major study every two years.
In Placer County,
3,840 acres of land were urbanized
during the current mapping cycle
compared to 2,607 acres during the
1996-98 period, a 47-percent increase.
net totals of 1,162 acres of farmland,
2,106 acres of grazing land and 572
acres of land classified as "other" -- a
category that includes wetlands,
low-density "ranchettes" and brush or
timberlands unsuitable for grazing --
were reclassified as urban land in
Since the FMMP began
tracking changes in 1984, there has been
a 78 percent increase in urbanized land
in Placer County, as more than 18,000
acres of farmland and grazing land have
been converted. The acceleration of
growth in western Placer has placed the
county among the top 10 urbanizing
counties statewide in terms of acreage
developed since 1994.
Looking ahead, the
county reports that 3,878 acres mostly
grazing land -- are committed to future
non-agricultural use. Often, this is
land earmarked for development. In some
cases infrastructure development, such
as sewer installation, may be underway.
Of the 411,531 acres
mapped in Placer County, nearly 37
percent were farmland, 7 percent were
grazing land, 10 percent were urban and
45 percent were "other" land. The
remainder is water.
The map has been sent
to Placer County planning officials.
Interested parties such as the county
Farm Bureau, Local Agency Formation
Commission, planning consultants and
area resource conservation districts
have received copies.
"We do this mapping
to help counties plan and prepare for
their expected growth in the coming
years," explained Department of
Conservation Director Darryl Young.
"This information is a tool that can
help Placer County and other local
governments balance the needs of a
growing population with those of the
agricultural land will continue to face
development pressure in the foreseeable
future. The California Department of
Finance projects that the county's
population will grow from its current
235,600 to 358,500 by 2020.
According to the
California Department of Food and
Agriculture, the gross value of Placer
County's agricultural production was
about $60.5 million in 2000, ranking it
38th among the state's 58 counties.
examples of agricultural land being
urbanized in Placer County:
acres were developed for housing at Del
Webb Sun City at
About 170 acres
were converted into the Turkey Creek
golf course in Lincoln.
Three large areas
127, 135 and 160 acres were developed
for homes and apartments near the
intersection of Highway 65 and Blue Oaks
that include the Galleria Mall and Home
Depot were built along the Highway 65
corridor in Roseville.
Country Club in northern Auburn
accounted for the conversion of
approximately 195 acres.
The latest statewide
study by the FMMP, Farmland Conversion
Report 1996-98, was released in the fall
of 2000. About 70,000 acres were
urbanized throughout the state; more
than 43,000 acres of the new urban land,
an area about the size of the city of
Modesto, were developed on agricultural
Department of Conservation, the state
offers programs that provide financial
incentives to keep land in agricultural
use. The California Farmland Conservancy
Program makes monies available to local
governments, land trusts or resource
conservation districts to purchase
permanent agricultural conservation
easements from willing landowners. These
easements prohibit future development.
Farmland Security Zone and Williamson
Act contracts provide potential tax
breaks to landowners who commit to
keeping their land in agricultural use
for periods of 20 or 10 years,
In addition to
administering agricultural and
open-space land conservation programs,
the Department of Conservation ensures
the reclamation of land used for mining;
promotes beverage container recycling;
regulates oil, gas and geothermal wells;
and studies and maps earthquakes and
other geologic phenomena.